Fletcher defends choices

Embattled English coach Duncan Fletcher has defended his much criticised decision to play Ashley Giles over Monty Panesar in his sides first two Ashes defeats. “I don’t really regret (any selections) … we have been quite comfortable with who we have been picked” he told a press conference yesterday.

Pounded by the English press and not having an easier ride in Australia, Fletcher stood by the on-tour selection policy saying “From my point of view it’s fine.”

“I’ve been doing it for seven years. People forget we’ve lost one Test series in 11 with this system. It must have proved pretty successful. From my point of view it’s fine.” argued the beleaguered English coach and selector.

Giles, who returned home to be with his ill wife late last week, was retained for the second Test match of five match series despite only taking 1/113 in the first Test. The Adelaide Test didn’t fare much better for the left arm spinner, managing only 2/149 and was eventually dropped for the third Test in favour of Panesar.

Panesar on the other hand, took 5/92 in his first innings. “From our point of view this was an ideal wicket for him. It bounced and turned. It suited his bowling” said Fletcher of Panesar success, “The other wickets we don’t know what would have happened on those wickets. In Adelaide the wicket didn’t really turn”.

Fletcher also defended his captain Andrew Flintoff who has also come under fire recently, “It’s going to be difficult captaining England, especially in Australia.” he said.

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